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Sequence Voting is different from roster-based voting in that it allows players, during the day-cycle, to vote for more than the normal lynch. Special day "actions" called sequences can be initiated by players, and voted at the same time. First seen on MM in Warcraft III Battle (originated on mOs???).
The simplest version of sequence voting is a replacement of the classical day lynch with possible parallel lynching votes. Instead of each player voting for exactly one other player to lynch (1 vote / 1 preference) such as:
Player X - voting for suspected Baddie
the sequence voting allows each player to start his own Lynch sequence, which can be joined or opposed by others directly. The classical voting only allows indirect opposition from other players that choose to cast their vote for a different person.
Such a lynch sequence can be passed by a majority (N/2 of the players = total number of living players divided by 2, truncated (if there's a .5 on the end), and incremented by 1). Votes can be changed around as usual, but only until the sequence is passed or denied. A sequence cannot be deleted by the initiator (but the initiator can choose to move his/her vote to the opposing side if he/she changed her mind).
This format allows multiple lynches to be started at the same time (parallelism) and require a majority to lynch instead of a plurality. A sequence is called passed or failed if that majority is reached in numbers either on the proponents (PRO) side or on the opposing side (CON). When this happens, the sequence is locked (no more voting) and it is marked as PASSED or FAILED. If a sequence is failed, it can be attempted again, from scratch.
Technically 2 formats for voting were proposed:
SequenceType VictimName (Initiator) - Proponents [Opponents] Lynch SuspectedBaddie (Me) - Me [ ]
Seq# (SequenceType Victim by Initiator)-[PRO X] Proponents [CON 0] Opponents 13. (Lynch SuspectedBaddie by Me) – [PRO 1] Me [CON 0]
The extended version takes a while longer to write, update and verify but has the following advantages:
- it allows players coming online to understand in a glance which sequences are closer to be passed
- it allows players to reference a sequence number or a series of votes allowing them to delegate their votes if they are using mobile phones and cannot update directly, and give an explanation for their votes (e.g. "I voted PRO to 15 and 16 and CON to 4, 5, 7-10").
Given a fair amount of activity from all the players, this allows players to decide how the days end more dynamically. Instead of reaching an unsure plurality, their combined votes on multiple sequences can really push the result of a day from no-one is lynched (if no sequence reaches a majority) to multiple persons are lynched (if multiple sequences reach a majority). Also, there can be no tie (as in plurality voting), eliminating the need for tie lynch rules
The dynamics are obviously different for 2 Faction (+ Indy) games, as Indy factions/small factions are weaker during the day than in classical voting (being able to propose less sequences than the other factions). This sequence voting system should only be used:
- Without any kind of vote-manipulators (which as a side effect removes the need for a host to tally the votes)
- In games with balanced factions number-wise (e.g. a 4-Faction Mafia balanced number-wise with or w/o Indies).
Types of Sequences
The catch of using these sequences is that they can be vetoed! The victim can start its own Veto sequence if he/she is supposed to be lynched by an already PASSED lynch sequence.
A natural extension is to include other types of sequences such as:
- Spy: Initiator learns faction of victim.
- Freeze: Target is blocked in the next night.
- Courier: Initiator can send one message to target and receive a response
Each of which can be vetoed by the victim. Some of them don't have to end the end of the day to be enacted - e.g. a courier can be initiated immediately after it is PASSED.
Some limits should be in place (depending on host's choice) to tweak the overall game:
- There should not be multiple sequences of the same type on the same victim e.g. multiple spies on the same target. For some sequences, such as lynches, this is natural (as two parallel lynches on the same person should be merged), while for other sequences (such as spy) this restriction acts as a limiting factor on information gathering in the game.
- There should not be multiple sequences of the same type initiated by the same person e.g. multiple spies on different targets. For some sequences (such as spy) this is natural, but usually can be regulated in-game by people not trusting someone to get that much information this fast. For other sequences (such as Courier), the effects are less obvious.
Without any limitations imposed, two problems arise:
- the active players (and especially those favored by their time-zones that are able to act in the beginning of the day) will be able to pass more sequences and / or pass their sequences faster.
- the fact that people can vote concurrently in a thread, effectively creating two separate vote branches which don't contain the other's votes. This happens in normal day-voting in Mafia too, but same-time-voting is harder to fix and more frequent in this type of voting.
Mafias using this type of voting introduced various tweaks on the above or have their own terminology or specific format established by the host.